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Irrational Confidence

An enigma wrapped inside of a conundrum.

I think that was Churchill…or maybe it was Pesci in JFK, in what is still one of the strangest, and most mesmerizing performances in film history.

Like Pesci’s wig piece, this week we’re dealing with a guy that’s been classified as mystifying. The dichotomy of what it takes to perfect and maintain your craft at the highest level, and how nonsensical some of the moments within that journey can be is rarely explored…but if you’re here now, you know that’s what The Encyclopedia does best.

I’ve said it before, but you can’t write a 541 page book called The Encyclopedia of Guys without being a couple yourself…quick tangent, who else is capable of doing that, and also consistently putting out new heat once a week? No one. It’s truly Ludacris that I’m still an unrestricted free agent, I’m comin’ for that number one spot though…back to our regular schedule program.

Other than being the top UFA writer on the internet, I’m a trading card guy, and here’s a look at one from my P.C. (that’s private collection in case you’re not familiar with sports cardboard dialogue).

Ricky Davis; aka Ricky Buckets never played for the Knicks, but he did high-step on Heisman winner Charlie Ward in 2003.

…And two-time MVP Steve Nash got it too…

Ricky Davis spent one year at Iowa, and then bounced for the draft. Selected by the Hornets, traded to the Heat, then traded to the Cavs…then traded to the Celtics…and all before the age of 25.

Talent and potential is an intoxicating combination, and in sports it's known to get a lot of coaches and GM’s fired. Ricky Davis was once known as a “Coach Killer.” Your prototypical me-first guard who was always under the impression that he was one fade-away jumper from getting hot and putting up 50.

And he was close too…his career high was 45 in 2002 for the Cavs. So close, and yet so far away. It’s something I think about often with The Encyclopedia. Should I have zigged when I should have zagged…will I ever get another look from a publishing company, or media outlet?

I can’t answer those questions, but they definitely keep me up at night. I’m trying to cope with the thought of how all my work and passion for this may never get me any further then where I’m at right now.

Davis spent 12 years in the NBA, and every season he played, he was looked at as someone who never quite got there. But it just depends on how you view it. Some suit on NBATV’s definition of not getting over the hump doesn’t mean it should be Ricky Davis’ opinion of himself too.

I choose to be a glass half-full guy, and I’d like to think that Ricky Davis does as well.

While we’ve never met, I did see him play once.

In 2007 I was lucky enough to be taken to the Garden by close family friends. We had fantastic seats, hearing KG cuss on the court should’ve been on everyone’s bucket list while he played…it did not disappoint.

In essentially a meaningless game between two teams with identical losing records, that ended up not making the playoffs, I had one of the greatest nights of my life.

Other then the clinic of swear words that came out Garnett’s mouth, at half-time I saw something that I never suspected I’d ever see. Ricky Davis, Randy Foye, and Rashad McCants had a half-court and 3-point contest.

It was striking how carefree and casual they were. Looking back, maybe they were too nonchalant considering the 3rd quarter was about to tip 30 seconds before Randy Foye iced a three from the top of the key…Foye won the contest by the way.

There’s no way to know for certain whether that laid-back character hindered Davis from maximizing his vibrant basketball aptitude, or it propelled him to be a 1st round draft pick, and average 13.5 points per game in 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association.

It’s probably a little bit of both.

By now you’ve wondered, is this the same Ricky Davis that tossed a ball off his own back board in an attempt to record a triple double? Yes, we’re talking about that guy. The same guy who once unsuccessfully attempted an in-game between the legs dunk that had Tom Heinsohn lose his mind.

To call him “Wrong Rim-Ricky” is to say that you’re without flaw. Nobody is faultless, the minimum requirement for an NBA player, or a writer, should be to attempt to do better next time you’re given an opportunity.

Our journey is funny sometimes…

But that’s what makes us unique.

Is it rational to think you’ll play over a decade in the NBA, or to truly believe you are the foremost writer in the game?

Maybe it’s foolish pride…but I’d rather have that, then nothing at all.

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